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Patagonia Drifter A/C

2 reviews
5-star:   0
4-star:   1
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

I really wanted to like this shoe. It didn't fit well…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100


I really wanted to like this shoe. It didn't fit well on my narrow feet, which caused a lot of lifting in the heel. This could be alleviated by cranking down on the laces, but wasn't ideal. I like these because the sole was stiff enough for backpacking and scrambling on rock which my trail runners just weren't stiff enough for. After my second backpacking trip pieces of the sole started tearing off, leaving a hole in one shoes and broken tread on the other.


  • Stiff soles
  • Good feel


  • Sole did not hold up to wear
  • Fit seemed loose for a narrow foot

I bought this at REI using my dividend and a 20% off coupon. I really wanted to love these shoes. This was my first time trying Patagonia, and while I had a couple of promlems with these shoes, overall I would try Patagonia again, but not this shoe, as it just never did fit my feet right.

Fit: Shoe had a good feel to it, but the heel was always a little sloppy causing heel lift. This could be controlled somewhat by cranking down on the laces, but I never could entirely get rid of the problem. I have friends who have not had any problems with the fit, so I think it is simply a problem for people with narrow feet like myself.

Comfort: A very comfortable shoe overall, except if the laces were not tied the shoes would not stay on at all.  If I tried to slip them on to step outside they would not stay on.  Would have loved for the heel to fit a bit snugger. As I mentioned, cranking on the laces helped with the heel lift, but them they were a bit too tight on the top.

Support: The stiff sole was exactly what I was looking for in a lightweight hiker that I could wear backpacking as well.

Temp Control: I tend to have really hot feet and these shoes seemed to breathe very well, though I am used to Gortex lined boots and shoes.

Traction: Soles had great traction on slickrock, as well as trails. 

Construction & Durability: My biggest complaint is that the lugs on the sole started to break off after my first backpacking trip. When they continued to break on my second trip leaving a hole in one shoe, I finally decided to retrn them.

I used them on two weeklong backpacking trips, (In the Utah canyonlands on trails and slickrock, and in Yellowstone NP on trails) as well as on a few dayhikes over a period of 4 months.


Rodney, I appreciated your review--actually read it in the store while trying these on. In the end, they felt sooooo good in the store, I decided to buy them and see what kind of mileage I get out of them. I'll post a review in a few months.

5 months ago

Yep, as I said I really wanted to love them. Fit wasn't great for me (I think it because I have narrow feet) and I can be pretty hard on shoes - I ripped a number of the lugs right off the sole on my first trip out climbing around on some rock formations in Canyonlands NP. I hope they work well for you, and they will likely hold up well, unless you really are abusive. Looking forward to hearing your review, I haven't found a good low light hiker that I like yet.

5 months ago

The Drifter A/C by Patagonia is an excellent trail…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $130


The Drifter A/C by Patagonia is an excellent trail shoe. It was comfortable right out of the box and required no break-in whatsoever. I've have used them for over one year and am very impressed with how well they are built.


  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Required no break-in


  • Rather expensive

I bought the Drifter A/C after reading a review of them in Backpacker Magazine, who gave them a great review. I've now used them for over one year and have not been disappointed.

They were comfortable right away with no break-in needed. The tread is made by Vibram and grip all types of surfaces well and so far has been very durable. I have only used them for day hikes carrying photo packs of less than 20 lbs. so I can't say how they would work on a multi-day backpacking trips with a full pack.

Their only drawback for me was the $130 that I paid for them, but so far they have been worth the money.

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Patagonia Drifter A/C

currently retails for:
$70.89 - $185.00
MSRP: $120.00 (men's)

where to buy:


Weight 1 lb 1 oz / 482 g
Width Medium
Toe Box Full
Arch / Instep Medium